Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Subject: "Sister Baeza...there is a Korean family here can you..."

Subject: "Sister Baeza...there is a Korean family here can you..."

Alooooooha! :) Okay, not Spanish but, trying to be different here.

Yes, Elder Grover, one of the senior couples that serve in the VC STILL gets me confused with Sister Cho. It's quite funny actually. BUT! You would be surprised how soo many people think I'm Mexican! Haha! It's great. I think it's because of the badge and it says my last name. Thank you for all of you who wrote me letters that I received this week!: Madz (love you!), Karlie Kenyon (SO BUMMED I MISSED YOU! And wait...what's your address haha cause I don't know where to send your letter!), Elder Brownlow (loved the pictures!), Sister Crossley, and Sister Woodwell! Oh and I saw Caroline Woodwell at the VC this week! So fun. And I saw Athena Bringhurst and her younger sister too (totally blanking on the name, sorry! The mission does that to you haha it's horrible). Oh the joys of living just on the other side of California :) Oh and there was an EARTHQUAKE here!! We both woke up at like, 2:30ish in the morning to this SUPER loud BOOM noice and the building started to shake. My first thought was, "hey...we're in an earthquake, the manual says to stay in our bed!" but then I saw Sister Cole get up and walk out of the room to see if the other sisters woke up from it but I was too tired to tell her to go to bed so instead, I was repeating in my head, "Sister Cole...get back to your bed!" But it only lasted like...15ish seconds? And it wasn't even that bad. It was Sister Cole's first one. Her first thought? Someone drove a car into our apartment complex...

I don't have much time but I'm going to try my best to explain everything! I also have to write President Baker every week and I'm trying to get to know him more and let him get to know me more as well so I take a while to figure out what I want to write him and then I come and email to you all :) Something that I have been struggling with since I've been here was "loving my mission." I always liked it but I never "loved" it. How I always looked at it was that I'm not suppose to be home but I never really understood why I was suppose to be either. I knew that I received a specific and definite answer from Heavenly Father that I was suppose to be here but I felt like the things happening around were, in a way, not enough evidence telling me that yes, I AM suppose to be here. This past week I had the most amazing experience at the Visitors Center. I gave a tour to a sister named Aubrey and her sister-in-law named Kenzie. Aubrey served in the Oakland VC a few years ago and knew some of the Elders who had taught me! Kenzie has been thinking about serving a mission so I felt prompted to ask Aubrey questions about her mission. I asked her if she missed her mission and if she loved it. She said some really profound statements that made me realize that everyone has their own stages of trials and success on their missions. I always knew that but I look at the sisters here and think they are sooo amazing (which they are!) and haha I guess they hide it pretty well on when they are having hard times. Although I was trying to help Kenzie feel the spirit from her sister-in-law...Aubrey was the one answering all of my questions. We then gave a tour to a family from the Philippians and only the mom and son spoke English, not the husband. We did a normal tour for them and showed the Christus and Gods Plan but when we took them to Special Witnesses...she opened up to us. We showed her Elder Uchtdorf's recent sermon and she opened up to us how she really, really hates this certain individual in her life. It was amazing how instead of giving her "normal advice", we simply bore testimony to her. We quoted talks, scriptures, and just spoke from our heart and through the spirit. We also showed her our hidden treasure, the Elder Busche talk and that one hit home for her. After the tour she kept telling us "thank you, thank you!" I realized in that moment how we were truly working through the Lord and healing her and comforting her in the way He would of if He were there. It was just such a special, neat experience. Then we gave a tour to a recent convert and one of her friends who was going to be baptized this weekend (yesterday!)! It's funny, I sometimes forget I too am a convert and when I hear others conversion stories I think wow, they are just the coolest people ever and how it's incredible that they recognized the spirit and wanted to change their life! The two girls just brought a sweet spirit and I shared my conversion experience to her and it was just so fun! The next day we gave a tour to a group of laurels from the Fresno area. They were really rowdy girls and we kind of went along with it and wanted to be fun sister missionaries for them. Sister Cole and I both felt like we should share them the talk by Elder Busche and when it started, there was an IMMEDIATE change in mood and energy. The spirit was there and the message was so powerful. I have seen that talk about a handful of times and the spirit was never so strong as it was that certain time. We both then randomly shared our testimonies about YW and the program itself and how they truly are daughters of God. It always amazes me how the spirit works so well in a companionship. We talked about it after and thought it was so neat that we BOTH reflected on our YW experience while watching it and felt the need to bear testimony of YW. Oh man, this week was amazing in the VC!!!

Our investigators are great! Leo was confirmed with the gift of the Holy Ghost yesterday and received the priesthood! I think he gets embarrassed by us but deep down...we know he likes us :) Edvin is doing great and we are planning on having an intense lesson with him on Thursday! It's not going to be our "do or die" lesson where we either keep teaching him or drop him but, he has almost been taught everything and the man needs to be baptized haha! He knows it's true but he just isn't living the law of chastity. We are going to teach the Restoration to him again because I felt like we should and while reviewing his teaching record, when Sister Cole and Sister Thompson taught it to him, it wasn't the best lesson lol. So, hopefully he can really gain a testimony of the Restoration and then find his answer through that that he needs to be baptized!! We won't give up on him though, he's too golden and too...good. We love him! Emilio, our new investigator, came to church on Sunday! Lupita (a girl that goes to BYUI) and her dad really fellow-shipped him which was awesome. We extended the baptism invitation to him but he said no. BUT! No fear, we know he'll accept it soon :)

This week I asked Sister Cole how she knew she loved her mission because I told her how I was conflicted on knowing whether I did or not. She then asked me, "Do you love being a member of the Church?" I obviously replied, "YES! Of course, duh!" She then asked me, "Do you love being a member of the church every single second of your life?" I then said, "Well...no....wait, is this a trick question?" She then told me that I didn't have to think about being a member 24/7 in order to love it. It's when I experience good moments and feel the spirit or learn something new that I'm reminded that I love it. She said it's the same for the mission. I won't love every single second of it because there will be hard times, a lot! But, when the good experiences happen, I will always be reminded on how much I love my mission. With those tours and a few others plus other neat experiences that happened during the week, I realized that I do love my mission and that I think I've loved it for a while :)

I hope everyone has a wonderful week! I wish I could say more but I need to finish up. I guess I end with these lyrics that have touched my heart this week. I really do love music and the hymns. I feel like they can bring such a sweet spirit and can really teach simple, basic truth. This is an EFY song (just assuming here) and it's been my favorite all week. Everyone...the church is true! Isn't it great to have the church of Jesus Christ on the earth again!? I think it is :) Love you all!!!

There's so much more to me,
He helps me see that I have so much to offer,
I am His Daughter.
He loves me the way I am,
He's my strength when I stand,
He is my King and my Father,
I am His Daughter.

Hermana Baeza

1. caroline and I!
2. being sneaky...yes, crazy hair because we got called in early sooo couldn't do my hair.
3. ta-da! I locked my mom (sister cole) and my grandma (sister cole's trainer)  in the closet!

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